The Burlington Arcade, built in 1819, is located in London’s Mayfair district, an area known for its luxury shopping destinations and hotels. Speirs + Major was asked to devise a lighting strategy that would help restore the arcade’s appearance and incorporate event lighting. The new lighting also had to be achieved within the total delivered load of the previous lighting scheme, a scheme that had used all metal halide sources. LED fixtures were the obvious choice even though they presented their own challenges. One of these was that matching the color temperatures of fixtures from different manufacturers required intense coordination.

The lighting design calls out the architectural details on both of the arcades’ entry façades, one along Piccadilly Road and the other along Vigo Street facing Burlington Gardens. Inside, attention was paid to creating a uniform treatment for shop windows. Downlights provide a brighter zone of illumination around the shop entrances. (Design guidelines were written for shop owners to follow, as more stores are refurbished.) Custom LED fixtures are integrated into the skylights and fitted with louvers to minimize their effect. One of the main architectural features of the interior is the archways, which are illuminated by custom-designed miniature LED spotlights outfitted with elliptical lenses for a tight beam spread.

Adding to the palette of interior luminaires are new uplights: miniature linear LED fixtures with barn doors to ensure easy control of light distribution. These fixtures also incorporate variable color temperature to respond to different lighting conditions. During the summer, they are tuned to 4000K; in winter, to 3500K; and at night, to 2700K to recall the glow of gaslight, the arcade’s original method of illumination.

Project: Burlington Arcade, London •  Entrant: Speirs + Major, London •  Owner/Client: Meyer Bergman, London •  Architect: Blair Associates Architecture, London •  Lighting Designer: Speirs + Major, London  Team Members: Andrew Howis, Clementine Rodgers, Benz Roos, and Ewan Parsons •  Building Services Engineer: Polyteck, London •  Photographer: James Newton Photographs, London •  Project Size: 920 square meters (9,903 square feet) •  Project Cost: Withheld •  Lighting Cost: Withheld •  Watts per Square Meter: 14W •  Code Compliance: Part L of the Building Regulations •  Manufacturers: ACDC; Cree; KKDC; Meyer; Mike Stoane Lighting; Osram; Philips; Selux UK Jury Comments: Integrated, elegant, and sophisticated. • Well thought out. • The design balances all the light levels and thinks about all the surfaces where light will be seen.